Blood On Their Hands
Jeff informs his grandmother that he needs to leave for a night shift at the start of Dahmer episode 5. In a cafeteria, Jeff is seen reading a newspaper. Simply because he thought the man in the newspaper was beautiful, he decides to attend his funeral even though he doesn’t know him personally.
In the course of the interview, Jeff admits that he had hoped to hold the body while it was fresh. He claims that he regretted not being able to dig the grave.
Jeff goes on to say that he wished that the corpse had been somebody who wanted to see a movie he wanted to watch. During the investigation, when questioned about why he dug up the body, he acknowledges his desire to have control over the men he killed. He also says that he was being told what to do by everyone and that the only thing he had control over were his victims.
After being questioned about the victims he accidentally killed, Jeff is then questioned about why he began murdering men on purpose. He goes on to explain that after beginning to drink excessively, he began to experience loneliness.
He acknowledges the fact that when he first moved in with his grandmother, he used to go to bars and pick up guys, he’d then bring them back to her house and drug them before strangling them so they would become unconscious and not experience any pain.
It’s fascinating to see this humane side of Jeffrey Dahmer. He wanted to hold the corpse like many normal people would hold their significant others. Additionally, he rendered his victims unconscious in an effort to spare them the pain. Even though he kills them and it’s clear that he isn’t normal, he occasionally exhibits very typical instincts like not wanting to hurt someone, a desire to hold them, and wanting to be in charge.
Jeff couldn’t recall the names of his victims, which enrages an African American detective. When the police question him about the number of individuals he managed to kill at his grandmother’s house, he retorts that he killed three. When pressed for a description, he reveals that one of them was black, another Chicano, and the third American Indian. He goes on to say that he only targeted them because they were attractive.
The detective ends up furious at him again as he believes that Jeff killed African American men on purpose so he wouldn’t be suspected easily. He also believes that Jeff chose to live in an apartment in an African American neighborhood for the same reason.
When asked if his grandmother ever noticed the smell of decomposing corpses, Jeff claims that he found a solution after his grandmother began to notice the smell of the decaying bodies over time. He says that it wouldn’t smell at all once he would place the body parts in triple bags and discarded them in the trash. When asked if he would conduct experiments on the body, he responds ‘yes’.
Jeffrey Dahmer goes on to describe his experiments in graphic detail. “At that point, my compulsion had completely taken over me, and I wasn’t even trying to stop it”.
Now, Dahmer wasn’t hearing voices at this point. However, he goes on to narrate an incident where she did smell something awry during the summer but he had told her it was his taxidermy stuff. However, Jeff was smart enough to conceal the truth by tricking his father but it didn’t work. He learned the truth.
Jeff tells the investigators that he complied with his father’s request to stop his experiments. After that, he claimed that he did stop killing—at least for a while. However, he began to worry about being discovered after he stopped killing.
It’s fascinating to observe the extremely basic human behaviors at work in his situation. His predicament is comparable to that of an abusive alcoholic. Alcohol aids in the alcoholic’s ability to deflect attention away from the fact that he is actually acting wrongfully. The guilt that surfaces when the alcohol wears off causes the alcoholic to drink more to numb the guilt and it ends up becoming a vicious cycle.
In Jeff’s case, killings operate similarly to drugs or alcohol. He becomes so engrossed in the murders and the method of tricking a man, drugging him, killing him, that he doesn’t have time to reflect or consider the repercussions.
He continues telling the investigators about a time when he actually messed up. Within this story, he found a man outside a bar, and his car wasn’t working. He offers assistance, but although the man initially refuses, after some insistence, the man accepts.
Jeffrey takes the guy to his grandmother’s house where he drugs him by putting pills in his coffee. When Jeff’s grandmother hears some noises, she goes downstairs to investigate. When she notices the man is unconscious, she confronts Jeff, who claims he drunk too much and passed out.
Jeff’s grandmother was adamant that she would wait with them until the guy regained consciousness; otherwise, she would take him to the hospital because she felt something was not quite right.
The man was partially awake but didn’t fully wake up until the following day. Groggily awakening, Jeff insisted on getting him on a bus and sending him home. His grandmother initially hesitates because he doesn’t appear to be in the right frame of mind, but eventually she agrees.
The guy overdosed and ended up in a hospital. He then goes to the police station and tells the officers everything Jeff did to him, but because he is African American, they don’t take him seriously. Even when they do look into it, they don’t go into it thoroughly enough and Jeff escapes.
Another boy is brought over to Jeff’s grandmother’s place, where Jeff gives him drugs. He manages to get away as Jeff’s grandmother spots him from her balcony and forbids Jeff from pursuing him. The boy goes to his home and collapses. His parents rush him to the hospital.
As the boy reports Jeff’s sexual assault on him to the police, Jeff is taken into custody and then jail for a year. Because he is white and young, the judge is very lenient with his punishment.
The day before Jeff was sentenced to a year in prison, Jeff’s father recalled all the instances where he had noticed red flags in Jeff, and he even questioned whether he was a bad father and his negligence and failure to question his child about his unusual behaviours may have led him to act in the manner in which he did.
When Jeff is in jail, his father writes to the judge and tells him that Jeff has an alcohol addiction and that he might benefit from a program to help him overcome it.
After serving a year in prison, Jeff is released, and his father asks him if he talked to any correctional officers or counselors about what was going on in his head or about his alcohol addiction. Jeff responds by saying that he didn’t and that they were mostly left alone.
Being unable to communicate with Jeff because he is gay makes his father feel terrible. His father is aware of Jeff’s true sexual orientation and doesn’t want to hear about it so he avoids communicating with his son.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger as Jeff shows a deaf man his apartment from beneath a building. Who is this man? Does Jeff end up murdering him as well?
The Episode Review
The show, and in particular this episode, presents Jeff in a very humane way. Jeff is undoubtedly a serial killer, but it’s intriguing to see how, like most people, he longs for companionship and control. For example, he wishes someone would watch a movie with him or let him hold them. He is not a typical serial killer who lacks emotion; rather, he displays emotion in subtly disguised unconventional ways, such as by drugging and strangling his victims before carrying out any other actions because he doesn’t want them to feel pain.
Characters in the show are presented in a grey manner. They may not be intrinsically bad. That’s what we already established about Jeff but even more so in this episode; his father is primarily viewed negatively. Due to his moral qualms, he neglects his son and avoids communicating with him. Despite this, he is consistently there for Jeffrey when he gets into trouble and has stuck by him through thick and thin. He genuinely feels terrible about not being able to communicate with him.
The episode touches on racism and how discriminatory practices toward African Americans were common back in the day. It demonstrates how Caucasians easily got away with crimes while African Americans were treated dismissively and with suspicion.
However, this chapter also turns that around in an interesting way. While Jeff is being questioned by an investigator who happens to be African American too, he becomes overly emotional and jumps to conclusions that may not be true without any other justification other than racism.
While it is understandable that he was angry, bringing it up and allowing it to influence the case was not justified. His emotional response could affect the factual accuracy of the case.
One could speculate about the potential course of events, but it will be fascinating to see how it plays out this time, which encourages viewers to keep watching.